Students in the Iberia Parish School System are set to take Common Core aligned testing next spring.
Still a controversial subject, on Friday, parish Superintendent Dale Henderson met with about 30 members of the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce to clear the air.
“It’s not an easy discussion. It’s become a complicated one, because people don’t like big government becoming involved in local school decisions,” says Superintendent Henderson.
In 2009, President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan started the Race to the Top contest. In order to get a cut of the more than $4 billion pot, states had to apply.
“States that were really about this money, about receiving this Race to the Top money, certainly would have wanted to adopt the Common Core standards to give their application the best chance; Louisiana did. We got the standards, but we didn’t get the money,” says Henderson.
Henderson says the parish will spend about $11 million on technology alone to prepare and test students. Money aside, he says, it hasn’t been easy.
“The curriculum has been an issue, because we’ve had to develop it, while implementing it,” says Henderson.
Audience member Louis Broussard says there was only one side of the issue at the meeting.
“I wanted someone else to come. They gave the pros. Let’s hear the cons. What’s wrong with common core?” says Broussard.
According to the common core advocacy group, stand for children Louisiana, the House Committee on education will be discussing house bill 380 on Monday.
Which would prohibit the use of state funds for certain assessments, like parcc, without legislative authority.